Michigan wheat farmers have the Michigan Wheat Program’s assistance when it comes to identifying wheat that is diseased, yellowed or fails to thrive.
To help identify the cause of these problems, the Michigan Wheat Program has partnered with and funded an innovative program with Michigan State University’s Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. The program, begun in mid-2013, allows wheat farmers to submit samples free of charge to the lab which diagnoses general crop health, cultures fungal and bacterial pathogens, tests for viruses, analyzes nematodes, and detects and identifies insect pests.
In many cases, the lab recommends mitigation or crop improvement strategies, which are sent to farmers by e-mail for rapid implementation.
At the end of each growing season, the lab reviews all wheat samples looking for trends or possible new disease or pest issues. This allows the Michigan Wheat Program’s research program to quickly identify new issues facing wheat farmers and fund additional research if it looks as though there is a trend or new issue.
Farmers with a wheat sample for analysis should download both documents below. One is instructions for submitting samples, and the other is the MSU Plant Diagnostic Lab’s submittal form that must accompany the sample.
If you’d like a brush-up on best practices for collecting a high-quality sample to send to the diagnostic lab, watch this video by Dennis Pennington, MSU wheat specialist.